Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Time To Revive Pombo Wilderness Doctrine?

Is Big Gulp Wilderness back? As the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands gets ready to hear testimony on the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (H.R. 980), I am reminded of the work that BRC and partners did on the CA Boxer/Thompson Wilderness Bill (H.R. 233) regarding the inclusion of strong protection language in the legislation that guaranteed continued motorized use on basically all OHV routes that were legally opened at the time. Also, historic commercial surf fishing rights were restored in that bill as well – a boost to the local economy for sure.

I must give credit to pro-access leaders who adhered to the “local decision-making” tenets of the Pombo Wilderness Doctrine.

I know Congressman Pombo was the enviro’s favorite whipping boy, but just because he was a target of the environmental lobby does not mean that his common sense Wilderness
criteria should be ignored or rejected by pro-access legislators of either political party.

Those tenets that I feel should be part of any modern Wilderness proposal are: WSA review and release, Risk Assessment, Community Involvement, Property Protections, General Considerations, and coordination with Forest Planning efforts.

See a Copy of the Pombo Wilderness Doctrine Below:

The General believes that Big Gulp Wilderness proposals such as H.R. 980 do a great disservice to smaller and more inclusive Wilderness bills – such as HR 233 - that are thoughtfully developed over time with input from local governments, off-roaders, and other stakeholders.

The General says it is time send “Crazy Uncle” Wilderness Bills such as H.R. 980 back to the legislative basement where they belong before any more people are put out of business.
PS - Feel free to share the Pombo policy with your pro-access elected officials to see if they would support those tenets in current and future Wilderness bills.

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